Feathered friends big attraction

17:00, Aug 03 2014
Bill Foote, 3, and dad Brad, of Te Anau
CUTE CANARIES: Kate Wilson, 3, and her dad Chris take a closer look at entries in the colour fed canary section.

Gore - it's not a place birds usually migrate to in the middle of winter.

Despite this, hundreds of birds headed south to the town for the weekend, to take part in the 82nd Grand National Bird Show.

More than 1200 birds were on display at the show, held in Gore for the first time this year.

Breeders from as far afield as Northland brought their budgies, cockatiels, parrots and finches in special carry boxes designed for safe travel by plane and car.

The show, held annually, was hosted by the Southland Bird Club.

Club president Jeff Rankin said the public had been impressed by the variety of birds at the event.

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The birds ranged in size from barely bigger than a matchbox to large parrots, armed with beaks strong enough to slice children's fingers, he said.

The show even included African birds, which breeders in the North Island's warmer climate were able to raise. One of the biggest jobs during the weekend was adjusting the room temperature, keeping the exotic species from freezing but making sure others did not get too hot when the crowds arrived, Rankin said.

Hundreds of Southlanders turned out to get a closer look at the feathered friends.

Rankin expected Gore's economy would benefit from the show, with most motels booked out for the three nights and restaurants around town busy.

lauren.hayes@stl.co.nz

Southland